Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

At his side from 1793-98 and present at both the Battle of St Vincent and the Battle of the Nile, the admiral called him, “without exception, one of the finest boys I ever met with”. Hoste rose swiftly to the rank of captain.


Sir William Hoste KCB.

Hoste’s renown clearly resonated with collectors too, as proved when his small Naval Gold Medal awarded for a devastating attack on a larger French and Venetian squadron at the Battle of Lissa in the Adriatic Sea in 1811 sold for £100,000 at Morton & Eden on July 13. The medal was part of a collection of family medals that had remained in the collection of Hoste’s descendants.

The Naval Gold Medal was awarded for naval victories from 1794-1815. Captains received the smaller version with only up to 100 issued.